St. George Police Department
Police said they seized 13.5 pounds of cocaine wrapped as Valentine's Day gifts after pulling a couple over in Salina on Thursday.

Seven people have been arrested in St. George in connection with a multistate drug bust.

The bust also led to the seizure of 13 1/2 pounds of cocaine near Salina.

The federal Drug Enforcement Administration said the arrests were part of an eight-month investigation into a multi-state drug trafficking organization shipping cocaine and methamphetamine from California to Utah, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky.

Numerous search warrants were executed in several states early Thursday morning, the DEA said in a statement. More than 30 people were arrested in the nationwide drug bust.

St. George police said officers seized more cocaine, two handguns, two cars and cash during a Wednesday night raid in Utah's Dixie. At one home, police spotted a couple leaving.

"The people here began to pack up," St. George Police Sgt. Craig Harding said Thursday. "It looked like they were packing their bags. They were in the company of their children with Valentine's Day presents."

Officers trailed them to Salina, where a traffic stop was made — and 13 1/2 pounds of cocaine was seized.

"They opened the Valentine's Day presents to find cocaine," Harding said.

Authorities say the busts were the culmination of "hundreds of hours" of surveillance and stake-outs by federal and local police. In southern Utah, Harding said there is information that the people arrested had been dealing for some time.

"There is information they had at least 10 kilos going through the St. George area every three to four weeks," he said.

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